Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander sidelined; Milwaukee Brewers win, Detroit Tigers lose in spring training

Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera, right, talks with Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau during the fifth inning of a spring training game on Monday in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP photo)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander is expected to miss opening day after he strained a back muscle during a spring training start against the New York Mets.
Verlander said it would “probably take a miracle” for him to pitch in the Astros’ opener against the Los Angeles Angels on March 26. But he quickly added: “I don’t want to leave miracles off the table.”
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner was hurt on his second-to-last pitch in Sunday’s exhibition game against the Mets. He had an MRI on Monday and was diagnosed with a strained latissimus dorsi muscle. There is no timetable for his return.
The 37-year-old right-hander’s velocity was down from his previous start, and he was removed after two scoreless innings of what had been scheduled as a four-inning outing.


Brewers 2, Mariners 1
Lorenzo Cain hit his first spring homer for Milwaukee, and Corbin Burnes struck out six in four innings. Luis Castro hit a game-ending drive off Taylor Williams with two out in the ninth.
Seattle right-hander Taijuan Walker tossed three innings of one-run ball. Kyle Lewis went deep for the Mariners.
Astros 2, Tigers 1
Carlos Correa singled and doubled for Houston. Austin Pruitt closed with three scoreless innings, striking out three.
Tarik Skubal, a lefty prospect for Detroit, permitted one run and four hits in 2 2/3 innings.